FBI Warns Police Of Possible Terror Attacks


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David
August 11, 2005, 10:00 PM
Report from the AP:

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/Printer&cid=1123727190030&p=1078113566627

FBI warns US police of possible terrorist attacks

associated press -- JPost -- Aug. 12, 2005

The FBI warned local police agencies this week that al-Qaida-linked terrorists might use fuel trucks as weapons to attack Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, but officials stressed Thursday the warning was based on uncorroborated intelligence.

Using a computer network, FBI officials in Los Angeles passed along details Tuesday of a possible threat to law enforcement agencies primarily in California, said local FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.

Though intelligence bulletins usually say how reliable the information is, this particular bulletin had no such disclaimer.

The bulletin warned police that terrorists could use fuel tankers in future assaults in the three cities, according to a law enforcement source who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the situation.

That warning has not been substantiated, according to a second law enforcement official who ask for anonymity for the same reason. It was unclear where the information originated and why the bulletin was sent without a statement describing its reliability.

Eimiller noted that local FBI officials often notify police agencies of possible threats, regardless of how accurate the information might be.

"Information at all levels is shared with law enforcement," she said.

******

:what: :scrutiny: :what:

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Lone_Gunman
August 11, 2005, 10:14 PM
I don't care about these predictions of doom and destruction, and feel these reports are released just to keep the sheep scared.

Taurus 66
August 11, 2005, 10:24 PM
DUMB! Terrorists are dumb and the FBI is the dog chasing its tail. They're all dumb. They bore me.

Has anyone else noticed the terror condition status (condition yellow/condition orange) disappear when Bush was re-elected? That trend was shorter lived than the macarena, making it the shortest lived trend ever.

rick_reno
August 11, 2005, 11:35 PM
Well, the FBI must know..

Standing Wolf
August 11, 2005, 11:56 PM
...the warning was based on uncorroborated intelligence.

Sounds like the F., the B., and the I., all right: uncorroborated from start to finish.

bogie
August 12, 2005, 12:16 AM
You mean it took the feebs this long to realize that someone can drive a propane tanker into a grade school a lot easier than that same someone could fly a jumbo into an office building?

hifi
August 12, 2005, 01:54 AM
While terrorists could use any means to attack and this is just one possibility:

It was unclear where the information originated and why the bulletin was sent without a statement describing its reliability.

Isn't it amazing how these reports are never substantiated and we're never told where they came from...

And if one in a million reports turn out to be correct the globalists and their minions: the police state patriots along with the MSM and the top level officials that have been bought off thumb their nose at the free thinkers saying "we told you so.." "look, you've got egg on your face!" Hahahaaha! :rolleyes:

Third_Rail
August 12, 2005, 01:59 AM
Strange, I seem to remember discussing that exact scenario about two weeks ago online with a friend. :uhoh:

David
August 12, 2005, 02:27 AM
UPDATE to above article says the POSSIBLE cities are LA, NY and Chicago, and the POSSIBLE time-frame is between now and mid-September.

http://wcbstv.com/topstories/topstories_story_223230915.html

FBI: Terror Attacks Feared In L.A., N.Y., Chicago

(CBS) LOS ANGELES The FBI has warned police that al-Qaida cells might use fuel trucks as weapons to attack Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, but officials stressed Thursday the warning was based on uncorroborated intelligence.

The warning was distributed Tuesday via a computer network by FBI officials in Los Angeles to law enforcement agencies primarily in California, said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.

Though intelligence bulletins usually describe how reliable the information is, this one carried no such statement.

The bulletin warned police that terrorists could use fuel tankers in assaults on the three cities between now and mid-September, according to a report by KCBS-TV in Los Angeles.

The warning has not been substantiated, according to two law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The intelligence originated from FBI headquarters in Washington. It was not immediately clear why the bulletin was sent without details on its reliability.

Eimiller noted that FBI officials often notify police of possible threats, regardless of how accurate the information might be.

"Information at all levels is shared with law enforcement," she said.
******
:uhoh: :scrutiny: :uhoh:

beerslurpy
August 12, 2005, 03:03 AM
Fuel is no big deal. It burns but it doesnt explode. With fuel you have to wait for air to get to the reactants by mixing or diffusion, so the release of energy is very slow.

Simple explosives are made by taking what might otherwise be fuel and synthesizing molecules that combine fuel and oxidant together. This allows for a much quicker propagation of the reaction. Explosives actually have less power per weight when burned in air, but that is only because so much of the explosive is already made up of oxidant. The tradeoff is that there is no lag waiting for ambient oxygen to get to the fuel- all that is necessary to complete the reaction is heat and pressure, so naturally it progresses to completion very fast.

For examples, nitromethane, nitroglyceren, trinitrotoluene. There is actually not much difference between many race fuels and many of the simpler explosives. The mass production of ammonia let to the mass production of nitric acid which led to the mass production of nitrate based explsoive like TNT and dynamite. This also led to the massive increase in farm productivity due to eliminating the need for land to lie fallow. In short, nearly everything we associate with industrialization and modern civilization is built on hydrocarbons and nitrates.

Dependence on nitrate compounds and the omniprecense of combustible hydrocarbons is not going to be eliminated from our society. Eradicating the production of explosives will be even harder than eradicating the production of firearms.

WT
August 12, 2005, 08:36 AM
"The sky is falling, the sky is falling!"


Fuel trucks turn over and burn all the time, especially on exit ramps taken too fast. No big deal.

buzz_knox
August 12, 2005, 09:21 AM
Public releases of intelligence are sometimes made fuzzy so no one will know the exact source.

As for tankers, they aren't overly dangerous if contained quickly and if there is no evil intent. Something along the lines of a homicidal intent, and that fuel becomes merely part of a weapons system with far more dangerous results.

dolanp
August 12, 2005, 09:56 AM
Oh we better raise the threat level to a different color so we can feel like the government is making us safe.

buzz_knox
August 12, 2005, 10:00 AM
The gov't's pretty much screwed in this situation. If they raise the threat level and nothing happens, they are called Chicken Little or accused of playing games. If they don't raise it and something happens, they are damned as incompetent or as intentionally allowing things to happen.

I will say that the threat level probably doesn't get raised but for 1 in a 1000 potential problems, and hasn't been raised when some likely problems existed but were being handled.

dolanp
August 12, 2005, 10:07 AM
Which is why the whole thing is just a useless scare tactic to make sheeple feel like they are being protected.

buzz_knox
August 12, 2005, 10:13 AM
So you'd prefer no warning, discussion of possible threats, etc?

dolanp
August 12, 2005, 10:15 AM
Yes I'd prefer the government work in silence. Getting on the media and saying "AL QAEDA MIGHT BLOW US UP WITH A TRUCK BOMB" does absolutely nothing to curb the threat. It might let al Qaeda know they should be more discreet, however. They are always telling us about some vague threat. So much so that people pretty much ignore them now anyways.

Double Naught Spy
August 12, 2005, 10:28 AM
buzz_knox, with all due respect, the FBI imformation given to the police and reported here really isn't anything of a warning. There is virtually nothing in the information provided that is of any actual or practical use.

The timeline is completely open-ended.
The potential areas of attack are georaphically very large
The potential vehicle type of destruction is common and very large

At any given time, there may be a hundred or more fuel tanker trucks in any one of the potential geographic areas, several hundred tanker trucks if you include those that are not recognized for carrying fuel (such as milk, chemical, and water tankers).

The clincher about this "warning" is that the FBI has NO IDEA as to how good the information is.

The warning, as presented to us, is about as useful is a prediction from the psychic Jeanne Dixon.

buzz_knox
August 12, 2005, 10:33 AM
buzz_knox, with all due respect, the FBI imformation given to the police and reported here really isn't anything of a warning. There is virtually nothing in the information provided that is of any actual or practical use.

Which is my statements were general, and not specific. The gov't really is in a guessing game: how much to reveal, when to reveal loose intel, when to reveal hard intel, etc.

Yes I'd prefer the government work in silence. Getting on the media and saying "AL QAEDA MIGHT BLOW US UP WITH A TRUCK BOMB" does absolutely nothing to curb the threat. It might let al Qaeda know they should be more discreet, however. They are always telling us about some vague threat. So much so that people pretty much ignore them now anyways.

Then we can trust that in a situation where they kept quiet and something happened, you would be the first to shout down those who claim the gov't should say something?

Control Group
August 12, 2005, 10:45 AM
Fuel trucks turn over and burn all the time, especially on exit ramps taken too fast. No big deal.
Yeah, and passenger jets crash plenty often, no big deal.

Malicious intent makes all the difference in an event like that. A tanker truck careening up a ramp and falling off the overpass in a ball of fire makes the news, but you're right, it's really not a big deal. That same truck careening down Wisconsin Avenue into the federal building and then igniting, however, would be a little bit bigger.

And if, instead of the tanker being full of just propane, if it's pumped full of oxygenated propane, you'll have one big deal of an explosion (before anyone nit-picks, by "explosion" in this instance, I mean in the colloquial sense. Technically, yes, it would just be really fast combustion).

I don't think there's any value whatsoever in a "warning" like this. "Hey, everybody, we think that some terrorists might strike some city - probably a big one - with some kind of truck bomb at some time." Not exactly helpful. On the other hand, I also don't think there's any value whatsoever in pretending that terrorists couldn't do exactly that.

Art Eatman
August 12, 2005, 12:51 PM
There is always the possibility of "mind games". That is, if the potential truck-bomb folks read/hear of the warning, they might become worried about success and start thinking of something else.

No way to know, of course, which is why the folks involved in anti-terror intel stay nervous and tense.

Art

David
August 12, 2005, 01:07 PM
More details on this FBI alert from CBS News:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/08/12/earlyshow/main773832.shtml

Terror Alert Offers Specifics
WASHINGTON, Aug. 12, 2005

The FBI's terror warning to police in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles is different from many of the other alerts issued by Washington since the 9-11 attacks: It's detailed, according to Col. Randy Larsen, a CBS News consultant who heads the Institute for Homeland Security.

The alert says al Qaeda operatives may attack targets with fuel trucks, though officials stress that it is based on uncorroborated intelligence.

Nonetheless, says Larsen, there is cause for some concern.

"For years," Larsen told co-anchor Harry Smith on The Early Show Friday, "governors, mayors and chiefs of police have complained about these general warnings, where we just go orange alert. It costs them a lot of overtime, and they don't really know what to tell their people to look for.

"(But) this (latest warning contains) very specific information: three cities, the type of weapon, the type of attack.

"This gives police chiefs something to do. And I think, if you're driving a tanker truck in one of those three cities today, there's a high probability you might get pulled over and have police check your license and registration and whatever."

Larsen says the main concern is liquefied natural gas, known as LNG, which is so explosive it can engulf an entire building if a truck carrying it crashes into one.

Larsen says LNG poses a significantly more ominous threat than gasoline: "A big truck of gasoline might be more dangerous to you when you go to the gas pump to pay for it."

And Larsen isn't high on the idea that all people driving trucks with hazardous cargo be fingerprinted.

"On the surface," he says, "it sounded reasonable when they first started it. But there are 2.7 million people with permits to carry hazardous cargo. The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) says it will cost about $100 each to fingerprint them and check them against known terrorists. That's a quarter of a billion dollars.

"The Transportation Department tells us what (qualifies as) hazardous cargo. Here's who we're fingerprinting: people who carry paint, fingernail polish remover, Coke syrup and, my favorite, Listerine. So, it's not a very well-focused program, and I don't think it's the best way to be spending our limited resources.
******
:what: :eek: :what:

Control Group
August 12, 2005, 01:29 PM
This gives police chiefs something to do.
AHA!

The real motive is revealed!

TallPine
August 12, 2005, 01:31 PM
So when are we going to insist that truck drivers be armed....? :rolleyes:

Let's see ... I've been thinking about these possibilites since when - oh, about 09-12-01.

And not just tanker trucks either - you can put a lot of explosives in an enclosed semi-trailer (of course no one has ever thought of a truck bomb before). In the middle of a major bridge might be interesting.

Control Group
August 12, 2005, 01:55 PM
So when are we going to insist that truck drivers be armed....?
I'm all in favor of everyone being armed, including truck drivers. But it won't prevent this from happening. Trucks aren't as controlled, scarce, or expensive as airliners, they don't need any kind of clearance to drive around (more accurately, they are unlikely to be checked to see if they have the clearance), and it's not hard to get yourself a job driving a truck.

All of which means that there's no reason for terrorists to hijack trucks (which armed drivers might work to prevent), all they have to do is get themselves legitimately hired to drive the trucks. How much do you suppose it would take to get a three guys hired at a couple companies that specialize in transport of LNG? Leave the tank farm, drive for a day, meet some people at a pre-arranged spot to wire the truck with a detonating mechanism, and drive off to your target. Practically trivial.

And not just tanker trucks either - you can put a lot of explosives in an enclosed semi-trailer (of course no one has ever thought of a truck bomb before). In the middle of a major bridge might be interesting.
If you've got suicide attackers, there's not even a reason to settle for a major bridge. All major airports are located near major roads, right? Aim the truck at the terminal and floor the gas, detonate once the truck stops moving. Much higher kill count than almost any bridge, and just as much of a blow at a city's infrastructure.

Or hit a city's water treatment plants. Or a major electricity distribution point. Hit another skyscraper, in the lobby this time. In a very real way, we're at the mercy of terrorists. The thing that protects most of us is that dedicated terrorists number in the hundreds, at most, the thousands. We number in the hundreds of millions in this country alone. The damage they can inflict on us is absolutely nothing in comparison to the damage we inflict on ourselves in response.

buzz_knox
August 12, 2005, 02:07 PM
It's a lot harder to be a hazardous materials truck driver these days than ever before. When my agency was faced with the new regs, I was involved in the implementation for a while. It's a headache, but the days of "hey, you know how to steer so you're hired" are over. Won't stop a dedicated terrorist, but might slow them down a bit.

TallPine
August 12, 2005, 02:07 PM
How much do you suppose it would take to get a three guys hired at a couple companies that specialize in transport of LNG?
Quite a while, probably - I think you have to have some serious haz-mat training/background, and a stable driving work history, before they turn you loose with those things.

Anyway, I'm sure the cops are going to be stopping every single truck to check ID from now on .... :rolleyes:

And if, as you suggest, the driver is legitimately hired by the trucking company, then what value would checking driver ID possibly have?????

dpesec
August 12, 2005, 02:12 PM
Buzz,
Yes I if the enemy doesn't know what you know you're in an advantage. Secondly, I'd like the government to let ke take care of myself. I'm the best person to take care of my and my loved ones. Why, because I'll do what it takes to keep them safe.

Control Group
August 12, 2005, 02:19 PM
Anyway, I'm sure the cops are going to be stopping every single truck to check ID from now on ....$deity, I hope not. What a complete waste of time and money for the police, and a drag on traffic flow nationwide.

And if, as you suggest, the driver is legitimately hired by the trucking company, then what value would checking driver ID possibly have?????
Er...none whatsoever, obviously. I certainly didn't mean to imply that it would, and I'm sorry if I did. My whole point is that you can't stop them, period. If someone's determined to blow themselves up and take a bunch of people with them, they're going to manage it. You can't stop bad people from doing bad things to good people, and what you normally accomplish when you try is good people doing bad things to good people.

As I said, we're at the mercy of the terrorists. Our only advantage is numbers.

It's a lot harder to be a hazardous materials truck driver these days than ever before. When my agency was faced with the new regs, I was involved in the implementation for a while. It's a headache, but the days of "hey, you know how to steer so you're hired" are over. Won't stop a dedicated terrorist, but might slow them down a bit.
Even assuming that every company that hires hazmat drivers complies fully with the new regs (which might be possible, I suppose, I've got no connections to the shipping industry, so I can't really comment), you're statement about a dedicated terrorist is 100% dead-on correct.

countertop
August 12, 2005, 02:20 PM
So you'd prefer no warning, discussion of possible threats, etc?

Exactly,

This is part what Art said, part miscommunication by the media (I have yet to see the actual bulletin the FBI sent, I presume it was slightly different than the attention grabbing headlines the media came up with), partly information for police consumption and not really intended for the general public, but its mostly CYA.

Just think about the outcry if something where to happen and the FBI didn't release a warning. You'd have Kerry and Moore and Chappy Ted screaming so loud they'd all have heart attacks!!!

Of course, if that were to happen . . . . . :evil:

Jim Diver
August 12, 2005, 03:10 PM
Fuel is no big deal. It burns but it doesnt explode. With fuel you have to wait for air to get to the reactants by mixing or diffusion, so the release of energy is very slow.

I disagree. Remember that town in Mexico that was basicly leveled because a local fuel line from a refinery was leaking into the sewer system? No one knew anything till the town exploded and killed many.

Depending on who you listen to, 1 gal of gas can explode, when in vapor form with O2, with the force of 10-30 sticks of TNT.

Waitone
August 12, 2005, 06:47 PM
The warnings fulfill a specific requirement. . . . . of the political class. Bush and Co. do not want to be accused of failing to warn the public of a terror attack. They will ensure some kind of public warning so critics can't come back wagging fingers.

The other factor may well be tied up on legalities of follow on civil lawsuits. Bear in mind the entire payoff of the victims of 911 was to keep tort terrorists out of the picture. It was then I realized our government is more afraid of trial lawyers than it is of Al Qaeda.

Proud to be considered a cynic :scrutiny:

GEM
August 12, 2005, 06:54 PM
Ahem, if we know that there are people in the USA who could do such and we probably have a good idea of the kind of people they are - perhaps rather than after the fact BS, we could be proactive.

It's just a bunch of Chicken Little crap. When the government was specifically warned of pilot training at specific places they did nothing. Now everytime a web sight says the cheddar cheese will be poisoned we go on orange alert.

I saw that they were taking down the alert status on mass transist today. Ok, pack up the packback tomorrow. Let's announce more of the alert status on TV. If people have bombs in their house, tell them you are not ready.

Morons.

Double Naught Spy
August 12, 2005, 10:43 PM
Ah but you know, you can fill a milk truck with fuel quite easily and then you are driving down the road in a milk truck, under the radar of the police because you are not transporting hazardous materials.

denfoote
August 13, 2005, 03:29 AM
With the price of gas, they would be stupid to blow it up!!
The could do better by selling the stuff and using the procedes to buy some real explosives!! :banghead: :evil: :scrutiny:

rick_reno
August 13, 2005, 12:17 PM
This just in...I guess they changed their minds.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8925309/

FBI backs off warning about terror attacks

Unconfirmed information led to alerts in L.A., New York, Chicago
Updated: 12:01 p.m. ET Aug. 12, 2005

The FBI is backing away from an advisory sent out earlier this week warning police that al-Qaida cells may use car and truck bombs in southern California, Chicago and New York.

NBC News' Pete Williams reported that the agency will issue a revised notice on Friday.

Officials stressed at the time that the warning was based on uncorroborated intelligence.

The bulletin, which warned that terrorists could use fuel tankers in assaults on the three cities, was distributed Tuesday via a computer network by FBI officials in Los Angeles to law enforcement agencies primarily in California, said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.

The notice was based on a single source of unknown credibility containing information that had not been corroborated. However, the source has since backed off the statement that led to the notice, an official told NBC News.

On Thursday, Eimiller had noted that FBI officials often notify police of possible threats, regardless of how accurate the information might be.

R.H. Lee
August 13, 2005, 12:56 PM
Why Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago? What do they have in common?

rick_reno
August 13, 2005, 02:38 PM
Why Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago? What do they have in common?

They're easier to spell than Minneaplois, Albuquerque or Cincinnati.

hifi
August 14, 2005, 07:22 AM
They're easier to spell than Minneaplois, Albuquerque or Cincinnati.

Maybe you're onto something here... they also mention Denver, Seattle, Houston, Dallas and Cleveland from time to time... :D

Dead
August 14, 2005, 09:56 AM
These alerts are "repeatedly" issued, as even stated in one of the memo's itself. Could it happen? Sure. Will it happen? I doubt it, the "terrorists" dont need to do anything else in the states to strike terror into the hearts of most Americans, the gov (read media as well) does a good enough job of that themselves.

In NJ there are highway signs that say "Report Suspicious Activity. Call 1-800-SAFE-NJ" or something :barf:


The notice was based on a single source of unknown credibility containing information that had not been corroborated.

From what I have seen this latest alert, just one of many, about IVBED's is indeed based on the above.

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